Rihanna Is Womanspreading Her Way to World Dominance

The Rihclaim, the BadGalspread, the Fenty Unfurl.

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If 2017 didn’t make it abundantly clear, it’s Rihanna’s world and we’re just living in it. From Fenty Beauty, Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year award, the only correctly dressed attendee of the Met Gala, Ocean’s 8, the silencing of body shamers, the Barbados Crop Over festival outfit, a sixth ELLE cover (plus Dazed, Vogue Paris, Harper's Bazaar, Paper, and Vogue Arabia covers), it seems like there is literally nothing the Badgal can’t do.

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So how does one sit on top of the world? By converting the problematic manspread (shoutout subway riders!) into her own. You don’t have to dig too deep into Rihanna’s Instagram to find dozens of photos of her taking up the entirety of where she’s sitting and often spilling out into the surrounding area. The Bad Gal is Rihclaiming her space. Womanspreading is not a completely new concept. The hashtag on Instagram boasts around 1,624 posts, including one from supermodel Bella Hadid. But Rihanna seems to be the obvious foremother of the movement, hashtagged or not.

Thinking that this had to be more than a coincidence, we asked body language expert Traci Brown, author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, who said we were right to notice Rihclaim, the BadGalspread, the Fenty Unfurl. She says it happens too frequently for it to merely be happenstance.

Brown notes that it’s striking to see this sort of pose from a woman—and that the way she’s situated is probably pointed and purposeful. “You see 'crotch displays' more from men than women,” Brown says. “It's a show of self-perceived sexuality and power. For women it also bucks the trend of ladylike femininity. So she's showing that she's competing in a man's world and is not going to play by the rules.” It’s a silent statement entirely by itself: “She's taking up more space by spreading herself out,” Brown says. “This could be with arms or legs. She's not going to let people push her around! She owns the place, wherever she is.”

Brown also says that on top of doing it for the ‘Gram, the pose might actually have some physiological benefits. “She's building up power in herself, lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) and building up testosterone (the confidence hormone),” Brown says.

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Competing in a man’s world, dominating said world, and writing her own rules. Check, check, check. There’s nothing more that we need to hear. Rihanna 2020. At least we already know what the image is going to be on the poster. “It’s her brand!” Brown says of the spread.

Ahead, 20 photos of the Rihstance that will inspire you to find some space for yourself in 2018.

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THURSDAY. More from the #FENTYxPUMA AW17 collection drops!!! Nov. 2nd!

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#SoSTONED @manoloblahnikhq Pictured above: "Bajan Princess"

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" I can't go home yet, cuz enough people ain't seen my outfit "

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spam.

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@papermagazine

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I ❤️️@dior

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#THECREEPER returns with new colors and men's sizes! #FENTYXPUMA

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the making of...... #ANTiversary

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#AmeliaEarhart @harpersbazaarus

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#GCFestival

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@WMAG #SeptemberIssue by @stevenkleinstudio @edward_enninful on stands now!!!!

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The #RihannaXStance Summer collection is here!

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#BBHMMvideo

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Getty Images

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